Manuscript Resources on The Civil War

This guide describes collections documenting the Civil War in the Lower Mississippi Valley, including the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Texas, in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) at LSU. The guide includes not only materials from the war years (1861-1865) themselves, but also materials from later periods containing manuscript sources for Civil War history. Thus such sources as post-war reminiscences and records of veterans' groups--materials dealing with the war as memory and experience--will be found alongside soldiers' and civilians' letters, diaries, and daybooks from the war itself. In addition, the guide includes collections of papers of Louisiana and other area soldiers who fought outside of the Lower Mississippi Valley.

LSU's holdings of Civil War manuscripts make LLMVC a rich treasure-trove for researchers. Many researchers are studying these documents from new perspectives, to see what they have to tell us about women's experiences on the home front and about Louisiana's African Americans, a significant number of whom fought for the Union. Louisiana played a central role in the war, with the fall of Port Hudson in July 1863 a critical event. Much of the state was long occupied by Union forces, and LLMVC contains the papers of numerous Union as well as Confederate soldiers. Other areas of strength include materials documenting the siege of Vicksburg, the Battle of Shiloh, and the Red River campaign.

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Anonymous Civil War diary, 1863 January 23-September 25. 1 item. Location: Misc.:A Diary of an unidentified Union soldier recording daily events, camp life, and military action in Virginia and during the Battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and travel between the two fronts. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3210.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Anonymous Civil War diary, 1863 September 1-December 13. 1 item [handwritten, 13 page fragment]. Misc.:A Diary of a Union soldier on the march or encamped along the Sabine River and in southeast Louisiana. He mentions fighting, expeditions, casualties, Confederate desertions, and the weather. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3328.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Anonymous Civil War letter, 1863 April 13. 1 item (4 pages). Location: Misc.:A. Union soldier's letter from Baton Rouge to his sister Ann relating details of his present situation and his impression of the local population, of Baton Rouge, and of nearby plantations. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3309.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, Baton Rouge

Anonymous Civil War letter, 1863 April 18. 2 items. Location: Misc.:A Letter from a Union camp in Baton Rouge describing camp life and mentioning the siege of Port Hudson. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2824.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Anonymous Civil War letter, 1863 June 19. 1 item. Location: Misc.:A. Union army soldier. Letter discussing the Union siege at Vicksburg, Mississippi, trench visits from Confederate soldiers, artillery techniques, and camp life. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3245.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Anonymous Civil War letter, 1863. 1 item. Location: Misc.:A Letter from a teacher in North Carolina to his parents in Richmond, Virginia, telling of his work as a mechanic in order to avoid the Confederate conscript law. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1452.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Education

Anonymous Civil War letters, 1863. 2 items. Location: Misc.:A Letters from a Union soldier to his brother, from Camp Banks in Baton Rouge, discussing family news, soldier friends, illness caused by drinking Mississippi River water, scarcity of supplies and money, property destruction, and not attacking Port Hudson. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3271.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Anonymous Confederate civilian letters, 1863 August 27 and 29. 2 items. Location: Misc.:A Pages from a letter-diary of a plantation owner, possibly the wife of a Confederate soldier, recording daily activities, local news, plantation work, and slave health. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2997.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Civil War, African Americans

Anonymous Confederate poems, ca. 1864 (2 pages). Location: Misc.:A. Anonymous poems titled 'Somebody's Darling,' 'Waiting,' and 'The Picket Guard' deal with war themes, death, and the Southern struggle. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2918.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Literature

Anonymous letter, 1864. 1 item. Location: Misc. Letter from Sarah, apparently a young girl and resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, written upon her return from a trip to New York City, commenting on a minstrel show in New Orleans, Louisiana, and expressing interest in the New York presidential election returns. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1418.

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